View Full Version : memory card preferences

04-03-2007, 08:28 PM
I would like to know what kind of memory cards you prefer...brands and writing speed. Cards you might have had problems with or ones you really love.

I am using sandisk and ATP promax....the promax is an ultra highspeed the sandisk are regular...i honestly dont notice any difference in capture or transfer time.

04-03-2007, 09:41 PM
in my batch I have the following ;


none have given me any issues.

04-04-2007, 04:22 AM
Sandisk, Sandisk Ultra and Fujifilm.
I was told that the Ultra II Sandisk would be no use to me as my camera cannot write to the card as fast as it is capable of.
I think the Ultra's write RAW files quicker ....

04-04-2007, 09:03 AM
the only time you'd notice the requirement for a faster card is if you're shooting sports at a fast frame rate (like I was doing with my polo). Once the buffer was full you'd have to wait for it to write to the card.

The faster the card the faster my buffer would free up for more shots.

04-04-2007, 09:32 AM
I am currently using SanDisk Ultra II's in 1.0GB w/o any issues.

04-04-2007, 02:53 PM
thanks everyone....any other input?

04-04-2007, 04:51 PM
select your camera type and it will give you some good info :)

04-04-2007, 06:13 PM
I really like the cheapest ones I can get.

I've used Kingston cheapies and I now use a Toshiba cheapie. Less than 20 for a 2GB card a few months ago.

I experimented with using a SanDisk Extreme IV (I think, possibly a III) and it didn't allow me to take shots any faster using the camera on "machine gun" mode. My camera doesn't really produce massive files though. If you were shooing sports on a 1DS Mk2 then imagine you'd want a top of the range card.

I'd buy the cheapest you can get personally... and buy 1 or 2GB cards to spread the images out or get a databank.

I think it's a moot point on how fast the files transfer onto your computer. I can transfer a 2GB cheap, slow card onto my mac in less than a minute. I don't need to work any faster than that, seeing as I usually make myself a drink or check my emails while I'm doing it! I'm convinced it's just a way for the card companies to sell more; "We'll speed up your digital workflow by 10 seconds" kinda thing.

04-04-2007, 07:44 PM
Charlie the speed of a card refers to the writing of data to it, transfer to computer is governed by the computer not the card I believe.
Be careful of cheap cards as some of them are more likely to fail. This can be devastating in something as important as a wedding. By cheap I don't necessarily mean cost either, some of the well known quality beands are cheaper than others. The quality of a product is important.
I have only had one card fail so far and that was a Nikon card supplied with a camera. It is heartbreaking to see half images or only thumbs that will not open an image.
I also prefer to have several smaller cards (mine are 2 gigs ... holding just over 200 fine jpegs, but less RAW images) so that a card failure is less likely to wipe out the entire shoot.
A data bank is an excellent idea no matter what size your cards, then you will have a backup of all images.

04-05-2007, 02:31 PM
Wendy..good point about the smaller card size...i was thinking of going to a 4 gig card, but that is a REALLY good point and I'll stick to the 1 & 2 G cards.
btw, it was me that mentioned transfer speed to computer... i wasnt sure, but I had been told that before....

SanDisk cards come on sale here at staples office supply really CHEAP...2 G for $40....and i have to wonder if they arent any good....i know that price doenst alway determine quality, but sometimes it does. I have howeve,r never had a writing problem with them.

04-05-2007, 05:57 PM
Hi Kim, the Sandisk cards are pretty good and the price is coming down all the time. You will find CF cards very cheap (the big stores often do bulk buys and so can get cheap prices, just check which card they are) and the faster the card the more expensive they get. Some cameras will get no advantage out of the faster cards. In fact I was advised not to get the Ultra III for my camera as it would be no different to the Ultra II, the camera could not write any faster to the card even though the card was capable.
FYI ....

04-05-2007, 07:24 PM
thanks wendy...interesting note on the fake ones....i never buy off EBAY! lol I am using SD cards, btw.

04-05-2007, 07:45 PM
There was some similar info on fake SD cards too. ebay is ok if you buy from reputable sources.
I just thought it was interesting info for people to have (one of the links had SD cards on it I think) I tend to call all memory cards CF even though I know they are not .... seems to be a mental aberration with me :(

Kevin M
04-06-2007, 01:16 PM
I use SD Ultra II cards and I have never encountered any problems with them.
Despite their reliability - and to be on the safe side - I use several 1gb cards so as not to put all my images in one basket so-to-speak.

For general use the speed of Ultra II is quite sufficient. However sport shooters with the appropriate camera like the Canon 1d mkII tend to favour the fastest cards possible since the write speed ensures that the camera buffer hardly ever fills and they can continue shooting a sequence of shots uninterrupted.


04-07-2007, 09:59 AM
SD is certainly a more robust design no pins to bend etc.

Kevin M
04-07-2007, 10:28 AM
Hi Chris

Should have stated SanDisk CF and not SD. I use SD Ultra II in my compact camera - and you are quite right - very robust and reliable with no pins to bend.
However, I have not managed to bend any pins in my CF cards either - so far.


04-07-2007, 10:40 AM
I'm not sure what brand of CF cards you have, but mine have no external pins to bend. The only way I could bend the pins in mine would be by taking them apart...

04-07-2007, 01:47 PM
My CF cards have gone through a few wash and dry cycles when left in my pocket and all have survived.

My SD cards, not so much, although I did have one that was driven over, but that didn't melt ;)

04-07-2007, 01:48 PM
I'm not sure what brand of CF cards you have, but mine have no external pins to bend. The only way I could bend the pins in mine would be by taking them apart...

there's no pins inside the card at all.

Kevin M
04-07-2007, 07:59 PM
No - the pins are in CF card slot in the camera and extremely hard to get at if they get bent. Apparently it happens occasionaly.
Other type cards have just flat contacts which are fairly fool-proof in that regard.

04-07-2007, 08:10 PM
A couple of friends have had pin problems with CF cards but I think they were heavy handed! I think CF cards have had their day SD seem to be the coming format.

Kevin M
04-07-2007, 08:45 PM
Hi Chris

I agree that heavy handed is the appropriate phrase in most cases. I have heard of bent pins arising from faulty cards that don't line up correctly, but I suspect that this is very rare. However a badly bent pin is extremely hard to straighten and if it is output may have shorted against one of the others causing other problems internally and very expensive to have repaired. Whilst rare there seems to be enough rumblings on the subject from the pros in particular to support the idea that SD type will eventually take over.


04-08-2007, 01:32 PM
Kevin, while a valid point, I would have thought that SD's will stay in the amateur market and CF's in the professional market.

Why? Most amateurs don't take their cards out of the camera. SD cards in themselves are ridiculously flimsy, I've broken a few myself. As long as they stay in the camera they're fine. Also, as you pointed out, the camera is less likely to get damaged by rough handling.

Professionals however will swap cards several times a day. I have a cheap Kingston card that has survived a washing machine trip AND being run over by a car. It still works. Most professionals have a good regard for their equipment and will not handle it roughly, but memory cards are the one thing that are subject to being dropped or left in pockets.

Plus, many professionals use micro-drives sometimes instead of CF cards. You couldn't fit a hard drive in the same space that an SD card takes.

I cannot see the camera manufacturers going backwards to using a far more flimsy type of memory.

04-08-2007, 01:41 PM
I don't know about where you are, but the majority of pros in the US use CF cards because the write speed is faster than that of a microdrive.

I used a microdrive ONCE when shooting polo, and that lasted about 15 minutes. Way too slow when you're shooting 5 frames per second and filling the buffer up rapidly. They just do not have the speed.

04-08-2007, 01:45 PM

04-08-2007, 02:15 PM
I don't know about where you are, but the majority of pros in the US use CF cards because the write speed is faster than that of a microdrive.

I used a microdrive ONCE when shooting polo, and that lasted about 15 minutes. Way too slow when you're shooting 5 frames per second and filling the buffer up rapidly. They just do not have the speed.

It really depends what you're shooting. True, I wouldn't use them for football when I churn out 300 photos per 90min game.

BUT, when I work in the studio I work like I do on medium format film. It might take me five minutes to shoot 12 frame - speed is not an issue.

04-08-2007, 04:39 PM
Microdrives are way too fragile for me. I want solid state!
I think you will find that a lot of the caera manufacturers are gearing towards SD cards as these are being used in more hardware than just cameras. The size of these are improving dramatically. The cameras that do use CF cards often have an SD slot as well these days.